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From Old French quinencie, from Medieval Latin quinancia, from Ancient Greek κυνάγχη (kunánkhē, canine quinsy), from κύων (kúōn, dog) + ἄγχω (ánkhō, throttle). Doublet of cynanche.



quinsy (countable and uncountable, plural quinsies)

  1. (pathology) A peritonsillar abscess; a painful pus-filled inflammation or abscess of the tonsils and surrounding tissues, usually a complication of tonsillitis, caused by bacterial infection and often accompanied by fever.
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, A Case Of Identity, in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 2012, page 43,
      He'd had the quinsy and swollen glands when he was young, he told me, and it had left him with a weak throat, and a hesitating, whispering fashion of speech.
    • 2010, Gurdeep Singh Mannu, Tunde Odutoye, ENT MCQs for Medical Students: With Explanatory Answers, page 130,
      b False. Quinsies are found at the back of the throat on either side of the uvula along the tonsils.
      c True. A quinsy grows as it swells with pus. This space-occupying effect can push the uvula away from it towards the opposite side.
    • 2011, Kerryn Phelps, Craig Hassed, General Practice: The Integrative Approach, page 317,
      The patient may have cervical lymphadenopathy, trismus (moderate to severe increases suggestive of quinsy in acute setting), erythema of tonsils, crypt debris in tonsils or purulence of tonsils.